NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 2, 2020

Game recaps, stars and rookie of the month for January, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored twice and Leon Draisaitl picked up four assists as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Calgary Flames 8-3. Draisaitl (83 points) sits four ahead of McDavid as the league’s points leader. A fight between Flames goalie Cam Talbot and Oilers netminder Mike Smith was the highlight of a line brawl late in the second period.

Edmonton Oilers winger Leon Draisaitl widened his league in the NHL scoring race during an 8-3 win over the Calgary Flames (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Battle of Alberta is always more fun when both clubs are battling for postseason spots. The next game between these two clubs is April 4. Hopefully, that will be a playoff preview.

Torey Krug’s four-point performance (two goals and two assists) led the Boston Bruins to a 6-1 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild. Winger David Pastrnak tallied his league-leading 38th goal of the season as the Bruins (74 points) moved within a point of the league-leading Washington Capitals.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 29 saves to shut out the Florida Panthers 4-0. With 47 career shutouts, Price moved past Ken Dryden into third place among the club’s all-time leaders. Jeff Petry assisted on all four goals. It was a costly defeat for the Panthers. They slipped out of a playoff spot (61 points) and center Aleksander Barkov left the game with a lower-body injury. An update on his status is expected on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Lightning backup Curtis McElhinney turned in a 30-save shutout to down the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Steven Stamkos scored and chipped in an assist. Before the game, the Sharks honored Marc-Edouard Vlasic for becoming the second player and first defenseman in franchise history to reach 1,000 career games.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their fifth straight win by edging the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime. Quinn Hughes scored twice, including the game-winner. Isles center Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist. The Canucks (64 points) hold a two-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division.

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist picked up his first shutout in two years by blanking the Detroit Red Wings 1-0. Mika Zibanejad tallied the only goal. Rangers winger Chris Kreider left the game in the second period after a collision with Zibanejad, but coach David Quinn said he didn’t suffer a concussion and felt better following the game.

Jack Roslovic scored twice and collected an assist as the Winnipeg Jets ended a five-game losing skid with 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 38 shots. Winnipeg (56 points) sit three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot. Earlier in the day, the Jets learned center Mathieu Perreault will miss at least two weeks with an upper-body injury. Blues forward Alexander Steen played in his 1,000th career game in the city where he was born and raised.

The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on an overtime goal by Mitch Marner. With the win, the Leafs (63 points) climbed back into a playoff berth, sitting third in the Atlantic Division.

Joe Pavelski’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Before the game, the Devils held a ceremony honoring their 2000 Stanley Cup championship team. Petr Sykora, who was injured during the Cup-winning game, finally got his opportunity to skate a lap with the trophy.

Two-goal performances by Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee powered the Philadelphia Flyers over the Colorado Avalanche 6-3, handing the latter their first defeat in four games. Flyers center Sean Couturier picked up three assists.

Shootout goals by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the slumping Arizona Coyotes. Kane extended his points streak to 12 games with assists on two goals by Brandon Saad. With 56 points, the Blackhawks sit three behind the Coyotes for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 19 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Nashville Predators. With the win, the Golden Knights (61 points) moved into third place in the Pacific Division.

Jack Eichel’s overtime goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. The Sabres sit 10 points out of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Ryan Miller made a season-high 46 saves to backstop the Anaheim Ducks over the Los Angeles Kings 3-1.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, Edmonton winger Leon Draisaitl, and Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy are the NHL’s three stars for January 2020. Chicago winger Dominik Kubalik was named rookie of the month.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights will end their affiliation with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves at the end of this season.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 31, 2020

Game recaps, Predators GM David Poile reaches a historic milestone, Tomas Hertl out of the season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Shootout goals by Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene gave the Nashville Predators a 6-5 win over the New Jersey Devils. Forsberg also scored twice in regulation, while Devils forward Pavel Zacha scored two goals and collected an assist. The Predators (55 points) are two points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The win was the 1,507th of Predators GM David Poile’s career, moving him past Glen Sather into first place for most victories for an NHL general manager.

Filip Forsberg scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the New Jersey Devils 6-5 (Photo via NHL Images)

Al Iafallo’s hat trick lifted the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 overtime victory over the slumping Arizona Coyotes, who’ve won three of their last 10 games. The Coyotes (58 points) cling to the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson left the game in the second period following a knee-on-knee collision with Kings forward Dustin Brown.

The Montreal Canadiens kept their fading playoff hopes alive by downing the Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Winger Brendan Gallagher marked his return to the roster following a six-game absence by tallying the game-winning goal. Sabres captain Jack Eichel netted his 30th of the season. The Habs sit eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they acknowledged reports of employing illegal tactics recruiting tactics but declined to comment on any potential investigation. Some CHL teams accused the club of putting draft-eligible players through physical testing, which isn’t allowed before the annual NHL combine in June. They could face fines of $250K or more.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Bad news for the struggling San Jose Sharks, as winger Tomas Hertl is out for the season after suffering torn knee ligaments during Wednesday’s loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Sharks sinking toward the bottom of the Western standings, Hertl’s injury could be the final nail in the coffin for this season.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins announced winger David Backes won’t be reporting to the AHL affiliate in Providence after recently clearing waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Backes simply won’t be playing for a while as the Bruins consider their options. He won’t be suspended, he’s not retiring, and his contract won’t be terminated. I’ll have more on his situation in the rumors section.

CBS SPORTS: The St. Louis Blues recalled forward Troy Brouwer.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Tyler Motte (upper body) was placed on injured reserve.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers placed Kris Russell and Joakim Nygard on injured reserve.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 16, 2020

Game recaps, Avalanche coach accuses Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle, All-Star Game updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Zack Smith scored twice and Patrick Kane picked up his 998th career point as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. The Blackhawks (50 points) kept their playoff hopes alive by moving within four points of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Canadiens, meanwhile, are nine points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane netted his 998th career point in a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek scored in overtime as his club edged the St. Louis Blues 4-3, snapping the latter’s nine-game home winning streak. The Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force the extra period. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart missed last night’s game against the Blues with an abdominal strain. He’s expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar accused the Dallas Stars of cheating in the faceoff circle. Singling out Stars centers Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin, Bednar claimed they do a better job cheating on faceoffs than the Avs do. “We don’t feel like the linesmen were doing a good enough job (Tuesday), sort of holding (the respective teams) accountable to make it a level playing field on the faceoffs.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams cheating in the faceoff circle is an ongoing issue. The league has attempted to address this in the past and could revisit the problem.

CALGARY SUN: Flames goaltender David Rittich will replace sidelined Arizona Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star Game.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of the Flames, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis believes Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian will have to fight Milan Lucic when the two clubs face each other on Jan. 29. This stems from Kassian’s recent on-ice altercation with Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the fallout from that incident (including Kassian receiving a two-game suspension) and the anticipation for the next game between the two clubs, the league could attempt to diffuse this situation before the home-and-home series at month’s end.

The Oilers, meanwhile, re-signed defenseman Caleb Jones to a two-year, $1.7-million contract.

THE SCORE: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte revealed he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. “It’s not necessarily about telling my story,” Motte said. “It’s about to help that one person or those handful of people that need to know they’re not alone in it.”

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman suited up in goalie gear and took shots from Alex Ovechkin during a recent Washington Capitals practice.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins placed Brett Ritchie on waivers.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2019

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak continue their points streak, the three stars of the week, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins blew a 3-0 lead but rallied to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4. Brad Marchand led the way with two goals and three assists while David Pastrnak collected a goal and an assist. Marchand is on a 13-game points streak while Pastrnak has points in 12 straight games. The Bruins move to 8-0-2 in their last 10 contests.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand’s five-point performance led the Boston Bruins to a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak (29 points) and Marchand (28 points) sit one-two atop the NHL scoring leader board.

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy left the game in the third period after striking his head against a goalpost. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy believes McAvoy suffered a cut. Penguins blueliner Kris Letang (undisclosed injury) also departed in the third period.

Derek Stepan overtime goal lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Darcy Kuemper kicked out 26 shots for the Coyotes. Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers, who picked up a point to remain atop the Western Conference standings.

A five-goal outburst by the Nashville Predators powered them to a 6-1 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Matt Duchene tallied twice while Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had a goal and an assist. The floundering Red Wings are 1-10-1 in their last dozen games.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice as the Ottawa Senators thumped the New York Rangers 6-2. Former Ranger Vladislav Namestnikov picked up a goal and an assist while Anders Nilsson made 32 saves for the win. Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko had a two-point performance.

HEADLINES

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson, Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana, and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending November 3, 2019.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers center Sean Couturier is dealing with a shoulder strain, limiting his ability to take faceoffs.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte will be sidelined four weeks with a lower-body injury. Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tucker Poolman is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks recalled defenseman Radim Simek from his conditioning stint with their AHL affiliate.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2019

The Bruins’ top line has a big game against the Rangers, Oilers suffer their first home loss of the season, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand combined for 13 points as the Boston Bruins thumped the New York Rangers 6-2. Bergeron tallied a hat trick while Marchand and Pastrnak collected five points each. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after giving up four goals on 31 shots. Rangers center Mika Zibanejad left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury following a check from Bergeron and is listed as day-to-day.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak collected five assists in a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

The Edmonton Oilers suffered their first home loss of the season as they fell 6-2 to the Florida Panthers. Oilers goaltender Mike Smith was pulled after giving up three goals on the first three shots of the second period. Brian Boyle picked up his first points (one goal, one assist) since signing with the Panthers last week. Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.

Mathew Barzal and Anders Lee each scored a goal as the New York Islanders picked up their seventh straight victory by downing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Jakub Voracek had a goal and an assist for the Flyers. The Islanders played without forwards Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl as leg injuries have sidelined them for four-to-six weeks. Flyers forward Scott Laughton missed the game with a broken finger and is expected to miss four weeks.

David Perron’s overtime goal gave the St. Louis Blues a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. Perron also had three assists while teammate Ryan O’Reilly scored twice and collected two helpers. Blues center Alexander Steen left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.

The Chicago Blackhawks snapped a four-game losing skid by beating the Los Angeles Kings 5-1. Forwards Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat each collected three points as they were reunited on the same line. Veteran Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch, though the club downplayed this move as a rest day.

Nick Paul (two goals, one assist) and Brady Tkachuk (one goal, two assists) led the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 upset of the San Jose Sharks. Veteran Senators winger Bobby Ryan was a healthy scratch. Brent Burns collected two assists for the Sharks.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Golden Knights rookie Nicolas Roy tallied his first career NHL goal.

IN OTHER NEWS…

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Adam Lowry will have a phone hearing today with the league’s department of player safety. Lowry hit Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington from behind during Saturday’s Heritage Classic game. 

CBS SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks winger Tyler Motte is sidelined for a week with a lower-body injury. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2019

Hurricanes to match the Canadiens offer sheet to Sebastian Aho, Darryl Sutter joining the Ducks coaching staff, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said his club intends to match the five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet Sebastian Aho signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Dundon called the offer a “waste of time”, shrugging off paying out over $21 million in signing bonuses over the next 12 months as “no big deal.”

Dundon insinuated Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was manipulated by Aho’s agent Gerry Johansson. He also dismissed talk that Aho wanted to leave the Hurricanes. “I have not heard Sebastian say that. If he said that it would be different but he didn’t. So the fact that an agent said it means that there’s no credibility to it.”

The Hurricanes have until July 8 to match the offer. General manager Don Waddell indicated that would come “in the time frame allotted by the CBA.”

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Johansson denied manipulating or misleading Bergevin into making that offer sheet to his client. “I do not think I’m so smart and Marc Bergevin is a very bright man.”

The Carolina Hurricanes intend to match the offer sheet Sebastian Aho signed with the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Bergevin is drawing criticism from fans and pundits for not being more aggressive in his offer. The Canadiens offer was a calculated gamble that failed. However, it leaves them no worse off than before they signed Aho. 

Cap Friendly indicates the Canadiens still have over $11 million in salary-cap room and 12 picks in next year’s draft, including two-second rounders and four fourth rounders. Perhaps their “Plan B” is targetting teams with limited cap space looking to shed salary.

Dundon and Waddell are putting a positive spin on this situation. But if reports are true they were playing hardball with the Aho camp prior to July 1, they’re the reason the 21-year-old center became a tempting target for an offer sheet.

It was rumored the Canes offered eight-years between $6 to $7.5 million per season. They must now pay Aho over $8.4 million annually for three fewer years, making him eligible for UFA status at 26. Dundon might brush off paying over $21 million in signing bonuses but I’ll wager that wasn’t part of his original plan. 

ANAHEIM CALLING: Former Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter is joining the Anaheim Ducks’ coaching staff. Meanwhile, CBS Sports reports the Ducks signed goaltender Anthony Stolarz to a two-year, $1.5-million contract. 

AZCENTRAL.COM/THE ATHLETIC: The Arizona Coyotes signed forward Lawson Crouse to a three-year contract worth an annual average salary of $1.53 million. Meanwhile, assistant coach Scott Allen won’t be returning with the club. 

WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman C.J. Smith to a two-year, $1.4-million contract. 

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed Tyler Motte to a one-year, $975K contract. 

TSN: The NHL alleges in a recent court filing they are not to blame for the injuries and health problems of former player Steve Montador. He was “posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his death in 2015.”